Air France-KLM loyalty program shifts to add revenue to airline
Flying Blue, the joint loyalty program of Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, will change how flyers earn rewards starting in April 2018. The airlines announced they will begin shifting towards a “reinvented” loyalty program in the next year.
After spending over $17 million on internal computer upgrades to the program, the airline debuted a program with a much younger appeal, while aligning their loyalty product with industry standards. Instead of earning Flying Blue miles from the distance flown, new flyers will earn miles based on how much they spend on tickets. Much like other airline loyalty programs, more miles will be offered for those flying in the premium cabin.
In addition, elite status will no longer be based on the number of flights taken on Air France-KLM airlines, but will instead be based on “experience points,” or XP. The amount of XP earned on flights will depend on flight type and cabin class, with more points given for flying in premium cabins. In an example, flying round trip in KLM World Business class between John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) would yield 60 XP. Flying Blue Elite status is earned at 100 XP for Silver, 180 XP for Gold, and 300 XP for Platinum.
However, the combined airline will allow flyers to use their Flying Blue miles on more of their brands. In addition to using miles for Air France and KLM, flights on Hop, Joon and low-cost carrier Transavia are bookable with miles. Flyers can also apply miles to pay for up to 25 percent of their reward ticket with cash and miles awards.
The carrier is making the moves to attract a younger flying base to their program, while aligning with their American partner Delta Air Lines. In 2017, Air France-KLM announced the launch of Joon, a millennial-focused airline, while Delta previously offered a revenue-based program with cash and miles award options.